The award consists of a Certificate and a Medallion. The Medallion has the Square and Compass with the letter G in the center, all of which are encircled with a Laurel Wreath. Around this are the words:
Hiram Award ● Dedicated Service
The back of the Medallion has a representation of the Seal of The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of California.
Los Angeles Harbor Lodge No. 332 is the Home of the Hiram Award! The first Hiram Award was presented to Andrew D. Miller, P.M., by San Pedro Lodge No. 332 (now Los Angeles Harbor Lodge) in 1964.
The Hiram Award is the single highest honor a California Mason may receive, other than being elected Master of the Lodge. It cannot be sought after, nor can it be something for which a recipient can apply. It cannot be won. It is awarded at the request of the individual’s Lodge, and bestowed by the Grand Lodge of California. The District Inspector makes the award presentation on behalf of the Grand Master.
The Hiram Award is an award presented to a Master Mason who has unselfishly given of his time, talents and energy for the betterment of his Lodge and the Masonic Fraternity with devotion over and above the ordinary, and who – year after year – displays his devotion to the Lodge and our beloved Fraternity without asking for anything in return. It is not given for service as Master or any elected or appointed office or committee. The recipient is recognized by his brethren in Masonry for his service to the fraternity and is a singular distinction that indicates the esteem, respect and admiration of the members.
The real warmth and pleasure of being chosen for this special honor is most satisfying, because it comes directly from the Brethren and friends he has accumulated within his own community. The Hiram Award is simply the official recognition of a Brother by his own Lodge for his devoted service to the Lodge and to our Masonic principles in general. His is a labor of love for the fraternity. He is the true and steady hand of assistance, which is that living cement that binds our Fraternity into a true Brotherhood.
Who is this Hiram guy?
The name Hiram itself is Hebrew and means my brother is exalted, or my brother is most noble. In Masonic Legend, there are two Hirams: Hiram, King of Tyre, and Hiram Abiff, who was sent from King Hiram of Tyre to King Solomon (2 Chronicles, 2:13). Abiff is an interesting word from the Bible, as it’s translated differently in the various versions: -ab, Abi- and Abi(f). Strong’s Concordance indicates that the word Abif translates to fatherless.
The Hiram Abiff of Masonic Legend was the son of a widow who was from the tribe of Napthali and lived in Tyre. The tribe of Napthali was one of the northern Israelite tribes, who joined with David, who was to become the ruler of a unified Kingdom of Israel. The successor to David was Solomon, the King of Israel.
We read in the Bible (1 Kings, chapters 6-8) that King Solomon built the First Temple – also known as King Solomon’s Temple. King Solomon requested the aid of King Hiram of Tyre, who furnished Solomon with materials, workmen and a particular craftsman skilled in stone, metal, wood and fabric: Hiram Abiff. Hiram was not only a skilled craftsman, but he was known as a Master Architect and was renowned as a man who could get things done. He was a Biblical mover and shaker.
According to accounts, the First Temple took seven years to complete – even with over 150,000 masons employed at the building. These workmen – while provided with food, shelter and a steady paycheck during the construction – worked under the premise that when the project was finished, they would then achieve the status of Master Mason.
Seven years is a long time. And some of the workmen were less patient than others. A few dissatisfied workers conspired together to extort their promotions early from Hiram Abiff. They talked, cajoled and finally hunted him down, found him alone, and threatened him. But Hiram refused their demands and did not yield to their threats. He reminded them of their duty to God and the conditions of their employment by King Solomon. Unfortunately, his discussions with the workmen failed, and three of them, in their anger, murdered Hiram Abiff in the unfinished Temple.
That, essentially, is the answer to the question of who is Hiram Abiff. He is a man of noble character, who remained true to his word, his nation, his community, his promise, and God even when confronted with certain death.